Grout History of Western Music:
Outlines and Time Lines

Compiled by David Papandrew
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Ed. note: This material was compiled and organized by David Papandrew, in the course of his preparation for qualifying exams in music history at Harvard (which he passed). It's been on GeoCities forever; GeoCities is going to be closing down (October 26, 2009), and I did not want this material to be lost. I have attempted to contact David, but have not heard back from him. See: Email from GeoCities, announcing closing.

Grout 9th ed. A History of Western Music, (Ninth Edition) J. Peter Burkholder, Donald Jay Grout, Claude V. Palisca. W. W. Norton & Co., Inc. New York. 2014.

Publication Date: April 15, 2014 | ISBN-10: 0393918297 | ISBN-13: 978-0393918298 | Edition: Ninth Edition

The definitive history of Western music, now with Total Access. Combining current scholarship with cutting-edge pedagogy, the Ninth Edition of A History of Western Music is the text that students and professors have trusted for generations. Because listening is central to music history, the new Total Access program provides a full suite of media resources—including an ebook and premium streaming recordings of the entire Norton Anthology of Western Music repertoire—with every new text. Combining thoughtful revisions—particularly to chapters on the twentieth and twenty-first centuries—with exceptional media resources, A History of Western Music provides all the resources that students need in a text that will last a lifetime.

David's: Chapter Outlines | Time Lines
My Outline | Musicolgy Texts

Chapter Outlines
Click on underlined title, and outline will pop up
Chapter 01: Music in the Ancient World
Chapter 02: Chant in the Middle Ages
Chapter 03: 13th Century Polyphony
Chapter 04: 14th Century French and Italian Music
Chapter 05: Medieval to Renaissance
Chapter 06: Ockeghem to Josquin
Chapter 07: 16th Century Music
Chapter 08: Late Renaissance Church Music
Chapter 09: Early Baroque Music
Chapter 10: 17th Century Opera and Vocal Music
Chapter 11: Late Baroque Instrumental Music
Chapter 12: Early 18th Century Music (Baroque)
Chapter 13: Early Classical Style
Chapter 14: Late 18th Century Music (Classical)
Chapter 15: Beethoven
Chapter 16: 19th Century Vocal Music
Chapter 17: 19th Century Instrumental Music
Chapter 18: 19th Century Opera
Chapter 19: Post-Romanticism
Chapter 20: 20th Century Music

Time Lines - Grout History
Medieval | Renaissance | Baroque | Classical | Romantic | Modern

Medieval Period c. 500-1400

Renaissance c. 1400-1600

Baroque c. 1600-1750

Classical Period c. 1750-1825

Romantic Period c. 1815-1900

Modern Period c. 1900-1950


Note that human life does not lend itself well to restricted categories
and both the dates and the styles are subject to change and debate among scholars.
Historical Era
Approximate dates
Representative Composers
(Small sample)
Medieval ca. 500-1450 Hildegard von Bingen, Machaut, Landini, Léonin, Pérotin.
See: Wikipedia List
Renaissance 1450-1600 Josquin, Dufay, Palestrina.
See: Wikipedia List
Also see: 1725-1770 Roccoco (and/or Galant)
1600-1750 Bach, Vivaldi, Tartini, Geminiani, Handel.
See: Wikipedia List
Classical 1750-1820 Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven.**
See: Wikipedia List
Also see: Nationalism - Grieg, Sibelius
1820-1910 Schubert, Schumann, Chopin, Paganini, Brahms.
See: Wikipedia List
Contemporary, also referred to as 20th Century or Modern. Includes subcategories such as:
Impressionism: Debussy, Ravel
Expressionism: Schoenberg, Berg, Webern
Americana: Copland
Neo Classicism: Stravinsky, Copland
Neo Romanticism: Piston, Barber, Hanson
Experimentalism: Brown, Cage
Minimalism: Glass, Reich

Also see: Further Discussion: Contemporary Musicology

1910-present Bartók, Bernstein, Cage, Babbit, Gershwin, Varese, Messiean, Stockhausen, Takemitsu.
See: Wikipedia List

** From A History of Western Music: "Through external circumstances and the force of his own genius he transformed this heritage and became the source of much that was characteristic of the Romantic period. But he himself is neither Classic nor Romantic; he is Beethoven, and his figure towers like a colossus astride the two centuries." [Donald Jay Grout. (3rd Edition with Claude V. Palisca.) W. W. Norton & Co., Inc. New York. 1973. p. 521.]

Musicology Texts:
  • Studying Music History, 2nd ed., David Poultney
  • A History of Western Music, Sixth Edition, Donald J. Grout, Claude V. Palisca. Newest ed. of the Grout, 7th ed., Burkholder
  • Norton Recorded Anthology of Western Music: Ancient to Baroque (6-CD set), Donald J. Grout.
  • Norton Recorded Anthology of Western Music : Classic to Modern (6-CD set), Donald J. Grout.
  • Study and Listening Guide for Concise History of Western Music and Norton Anthology of Western Music, J. Peter Burkholder.

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